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Home NATIONALFinland still not ready for women conscription: Haglund
Thu, 27 Feb, 2014 12:03:40 AM
FTimes-STT Report, February 27
File Photo – Lehtikuva.
Defence Minister Carl Haglund has said men’s conscription is a well-established domain and a widely accepted practice that is not going to change anytime soon.
He, however, said: “I do not think that Finland is still ready for women’s conscription.”
Men’s conscription should not be abandoned even if there was credible defence against it, said Haglund in an interview with STT.
Defense Minister Carl Haglund and MTS chairman, Esko Kurvinen in a seminar on military service seminar on Wednesday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Speaking at a seminar in Helsinki on Wednesday in which the future of the Finnish military was discussed, the Minister said he understood that some people might have the view that the practice was discriminatory in terms of gender issues.
Haglund said the military service could be developed but the basics should remain the same. 
According to the minister, one way of improving the military was increasing the number of women in the forces.
An experiment to increase the number of women in the military will be carried out in Pirkanmaa this year following requests from volunteers. If the experiment proved successful, it would be expanded throughout the country.
Photo – Lehtikuva.
Neighbouring Norway, however, is beginning women’s conscription in the military service next year.
“We want the best and many of the best soldiers are women. The Army cannot afford to lose them,” said Brigadier General Per Arne Five from the Norwegian army during the seminar.
The parliament of Norway voted to conscript women into its armed forces, becoming the first European and first Nato country to make military service compulsory for both the genders, said a report published in The Telegraph in June 2013. 
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